West Service Center, Inc. Often Asked About Premium vs. Regular Gas

Chesapeake auto owners often ask the question: “Will using premium gas make my car run better?” The answer is simple. But first, let’s talk about what exactly premium gasoline is.

Different grades of gasoline have different octane ratings. Regular gasoline has the lowest octane rating and premium the highest. Most gas stations around Chesapeake, Virginia also carry a mid-grade that falls in between the two. The octane range for the different grades of gas varies by region due to altitude differences.

Engines require different octane ratings because of design differences. For example, turbocharged engines usually require premium gas.

There’s a sticker on your gas tank filler lid that tells you the minimum octane rating your automobile manufacturer recommends.

For help identifying the type of gasoline your engine needs, come by West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake:

904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323
757-487-4420

Chesapeake auto owners should read their owner’s manuals carefully to see if it’s acceptable to use lower grades. With some cars in Chesapeake, Virginia it is; the engine control computer can adapt. Chesapeake car owners will lose some performance, but won’t do damage. With other engines, using a lower grade of fuel could result in serious and pricey damage; so you don’t want to save a couple of bucks at the pump only to pay it out a hundred fold at your Chesapeake repair shop.

Your car will run best on the type of gas recommended by the manufacturer.

Today’s computer controlled vehicles are optimized to run well on the recommended grade of fuel. Using a higher grade than is recommended will not give Chesapeake auto owners any additional performance or better fuel economy.

Regulations require detergents for all grades of gasoline, so your engine will have the same protection, regardless of the grade of fuel you use. If you do hear some knocking or pinging from your engine, take it seriously and get your van into West Service Center, Inc.. It may be a sign that you need a tune-up or some other repair.

In times of pricey gas prices, most Chesapeake drivers are conscious of making their fuel dollar go further as we drive around Virginia. Be sure to use the right gas for your car. Keep your tires properly inflated and your vehicle well maintained and you will get the best gas mileage possible.

How Do You Save Gas In Chesapeake Virginia?

No one in Chesapeake, Virginia likes to spend a chunk of change at Chesapeake gas pumps. Rising Virginia fuel prices, however, have spurred Chesapeake auto owners to focus on how to improve their fuel efficiency. North Americans literally drive billions of miles less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we are car-loving Americans, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.

Let’s look at a real life example of one of our AutoNetTV producers. He has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here’s what he did to cut his fuel costs:

First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his Chesapeake service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.

Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.

So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a ton of trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his gas mileage.  Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.

Here’s a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Chesapeake, Virginia. First get caught up on your important routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost fuel economy. If it’s time for a tune-up, git’er done at West Service Center, Inc.. That’s a big item.

If your check engine light is on, have your honest West Service Center, Inc. service advisor figure out why and fix it. Check engine problems can be real gas wasters.

Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help Chesapeake auto owners as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra hundred pounds can cost a mile per gallon.

Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most Chesapeake folks is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy on Virginia interstates and Chesapeake streets: don’t speed and plan ahead.

Finally, you may have noticed that we haven’t mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That’s because there aren’t any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of “miracle fuel saver” scams in Virginia. Don’t shell out any income to swindlers, you need it to buy gas!

Do some research and check with your service professional at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake before spending your hard earned cash.

Fuel System Cleaning at West Service Center, Inc. for Better Performance

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Hi Chesapeake car owners. Let’s talk fuel injectors. A fuel injector is a valve that delivers fuel to a vehicle’s engine. It has to deliver the precise amount of fuel, to precisely the right place, precisely when the engine needs it. The fuel also has to be mixed with air before it can burn in the engine.

Fuel injectors are engineered to spray fuel in a specific pattern into the engine. (The pattern varies by engine type and design.) In order to achieve these spray patterns, the fuel must be pressurized.

The pressure in a fuel injection system varies depending on its type. Many gasoline van engines use port injection systems, which operate with a pressure of 60 pounds per square inch. Newer direct injection systems operate at 10 to 30 times that pressure. Some diesel passenger vehicles have fuel injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch.

Fuel System Cleaning at West Service Center, Inc. for Better PerformanceVehicles have one fuel injector for each cylinder in the engine. Your vehicle’s control computer constantly monitors the engine and various sensors in the vehicle and adjusts the fuel injectors accordingly so that they can deliver the proper amount of fuel to the engine. As you can see, fuel injectors are a sophisticated and vital part of your vehicle’s engine. Because fuel injectors are such precision instruments, dirt and contaminants are a serious detriment to their performance. When an injector gets gummed up, it affects the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel delivery. The result is a decrease in fuel efficiency and loss of engine performance for Chesapeake drivers.

So it’s to Chesapeake auto owners’ advantage to keep their fuel injectors clean. That starts with keeping the fuel in your tank clean. High-quality fuel contains detergents and additives that help clean your engine. Brand-name fuel companies also deliver a more consistent quality of fuel to Chesapeake drivers than do bargain Chesapeake area service stations.

The second way to keep your injectors clean is to keep your fuel filter clean. This filter screens dirt and rust out of the fuel as it travels from the tank to the engine. If the filter clogs up, fuel will bypass it and carry its load of dirt into the engine.

Chesapeake motorists should check their owner’s manual to find out how often they should change their fuel filter. This should be part of your regular preventive maintenance. Also, remember that if you use bargain-brand or low-grade fuels, or if you drive an older vehicle between Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Norfolk , your filter will need to be changed more often.

You can also purchase cleaners at West Service Center, Inc. that will protect your fuel injectors. These cleaners are added to the fuel tank. They work best at preventing build-up in your fuel injectors and can clean up small amounts of carbon, gum and varnish. But they won’t be able to clean a fully gummed-up injector. Read the labels before using any of these products for full directions on their use. If your fuel injectors are gummed up, you can get a professional deep cleaning service at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake that will result in better fuel efficiency and improved vehicle performance.

Good car care will prevent serious damage to your fuel injector system. And this is one system that you want to keep in perfect condition.

Finding Vehicle Recall Information In Chesapeake Virginia

No matter how well they’re made, vehicles in Chesapeake, Virginia will have design or manufacturing problems.

And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people in Chesapeake, Virginia, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the car free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone in Chesapeake, Virginia who owns that type of car to get the recall work done. Perhaps you have received a postcard notifying you of a recall issue on your car.

Because these recalls always affect safety, Chesapeake motorists should take them seriously. This isn’t difficult to do because it’s easy to see if a vehicle’s being recalled.

Finding Vehicle Recall Information The government has links on its websites, or just visit AutoNetTV for links.

There are many websites with free recall information and searches. There’s CarFax, AutoByTel and the DMV.

Recalls are serious, but not all that common. But sometimes there are less significant issues, and for these, auto manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like West Service Center, Inc. how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.

The pros get updated information through subscription plans, also available in consumer versions for a reasonable cost.

So when car makers recalls occur, get the work done, and keep you and yours safe.

Alternative Fuel Vehicles In Chesapeake Virginia

Let’s talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions to our Chesapeake environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for us very soon.

For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the Chesapeake area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn.

The benefits are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower fuel economy and that when gas prices are low, E85 can be more expensive than straight gasoline.

You should only use E85 if you have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel engines have been around the Chesapeake area for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable.

There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our Chesapeake roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It’s less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home.

Natural gas engines don’t make as much power and don’t get as good of mileage, but they cost less per mile to run. The big inconvenience is that the tank that holds the compressed natural gas takes up a lot of room; even your whole trunk! And there may not be places to refuel on a road trip from Chesapeake.

Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Chesapeake area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants.

That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our Chesapeake roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors.

A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that’s assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver city fuel economy similar to their highway ratings.

A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It’ll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries.

Another breakthrough technology is hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to generate electricity. Several global car makers have prototypes on the road. The appeal is that the only thing that comes out of the tail pipe is water vapor. It’ll take some time to build a national infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations before there’s widespread use.

A quick word about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your Chesapeake service technician at West Service Center, Inc. is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle.

Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you’re specifically trained on hybrid systems.

Give Your Engine Clean Fuel With A New Fuel Filter From West Service Center, Inc.

Your van requires plenty of clean fuel to run. If your fuel contains contaminants, your fuel injectors will eventually become clogged up. When this happens, your van engine may not get the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure to run at peak performance. This hurts gas mileage and performance as you drive around Chesapeake. It can also lead to the buildup of harmful deposits on valves and in the combustion chamber.

That’s why all vehicles, including vans, come equipped with a fuel filter somewhere between the engine and the fuel tank. Give Your Engine Clean Fuel With A New Fuel Filter From West Service Center, Inc.The job of the filter is to clean out little pieces of dirt and contamination. The filter captures the contaminants and keeps them out of the fuel stream. Of course, like all filters, it will eventually get clogged up and need to be replaced at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake .

If your fuel filter is clogged, the van engine can’t get all the fuel it needs, and it may sputter at high speeds or quick acceleration. Many fuel filters have a bypass valve that will allow unfiltered fuel through when they are clogged. This keeps your van engine running, but doesn’t protect it from contaminated fuel.

You may find that you need to change your fuel filter at West Service Center, Inc. more frequently as your van ages. Over the years, additional sediment and rust accumulates in the fuel tank and can be drawn into the fuel system. Your fuel filter stands guard at the gates to your engine to protect expensive parts and to maintain performance and fuel economy.

Fuel System Cleaning at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake for Better Performance

A fuel injector is a valve that delivers fuel to a vehicle’s engine. It has to deliver the precise amount of fuel, to precisely the right place, precisely when the engine needs it. The fuel also has to be mixed with air before it can burn in the engine.

Fuel injectors are engineered to spray fuel in a specific pattern into the engine. (The pattern varies by engine type and design.) In order to achieve these spray patterns, the fuel must be pressurized.

The pressure in a fuel injection system varies depending on its type. Many gasoline engines use port injection systems, which operate with a pressure of 60 pounds per square inch. Newer direct injection systems operate at 10 to 30 times that pressure. Some diesel passenger vehicles have fuel injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch.

Vehicles have one fuel injector for each cylinder in the engine. Your vehicle’s control computer constantly monitors the engine and various sensors in the vehicle and adjusts the fuel injectors accordingly so that they can deliver the proper amount of fuel to the engine. As you can see, fuel injectors are a sophisticated and vital part of your vehicle’s engine.

Because fuel injectors are such precision instruments, dirt and contaminants are a serious detriment to their performance. When an injector gets gummed up, it affects the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel delivery. The result is a decrease in fuel economy and loss of engine performance.

So it’s vital to keep your fuel injectors clean. That starts with keeping the fuel in your tank clean. High-quality fuel contains detergents and additives that help clean your engine. Brand-name Virginia fuel companies also deliver a more consistent quality of fuel than do bargain stations in the Chesapeake area.

The second way to keep your injectors clean is to keep your fuel filter clean. This filter screens dirt and rust out of the fuel as it travels from the tank to the engine. If the filter clogs up, fuel will bypass it and carry its load of dirt into the engine.

Check your owner’s manual or West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake to find out how often you should change your fuel filter. This should be part of your regular preventive maintenance. Also, remember that if you use bargain-brand or low-grade fuels, or if you drive an older vehicle, your filter will need to be changed more often.

You can also purchase cleaners that will protect your fuel injectors. These cleaners are added to the fuel tank. They work best at preventing build-up in your fuel injectors and can clean up small amounts of carbon, gum and varnish. But they won’t be able to clean a fully gummed-up injector. Read the labels before using any of these products for full directions on their use.

If your fuel injectors are gummed up, you can get a professional deep cleaning service at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake that will result in better gas mileage and improved vehicle performance.

Good car care will prevent serious damage to your fuel injector system. And this is one system that you want to keep in perfect condition.

Fuel Saving Tip: Car Weight And Your Virginia Driving

Weight is the enemy of fuel economy. Everyone from here to Suffolk knows this makes sense.

Some of us in the Suffolk area carry a bunch of unnecessary weight, and I’m not talkin’ what you see in the mirror.

van Weight Guys; sports equipment and tools. Ladies; well, just take a look around the passenger compartment and trunk. I think my car has about forty-five pounds of French fries on the floor.

All that extra weight wastes gas as you drive between here and Suffolk, and everywhere else.

Lose the junk and save some money.

…And you really only need one of those spare tires.

Fuel Injection Basics For Chesapeake

All modern Chesapeake vehicles come with fuel injection systems, so it’s a topic Chesapeake motorists need to know something about. The mighty fuel injector is a valve that delivers the gas or diesel fuel to the right place, in the right amount, at the right time; to be mixed with air and burned in the engine.

So how many fuel injectors does your car have? There’s one for each cylinder. So four, six or eight for most folks in Chesapeake, Virginia. Some vehicles have 10 or 12 cylinders. The engine control computer makes adjustments to the fuel injector as it monitors the engine and other sensors. Fuel injectors are a pretty high-tech.

West Service Center, Inc. can help Chesapeake car owners with a fuel injector cleaning service. What’s the benefit? In order to work right, the fuel injectors have to deliver the fuel at a precise pressure at a very precise time. The fuel needs to be sprayed in a particular pattern as determined by the engine design.

Over time, varnish can start to build up in the fuel injectors, effecting the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel charge. The result is that the fuel doesn’t get burned as efficiently as it could. That robs performance and hurts fuel efficiency.

What about dirty fuel – how does that affect the fuel injectors? The fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel system. It starts at the fuel tank. Frankly, the best way to keep your fuel injectors working well is to use high quality fuel. It’s tempting to shop for bargains in  Chesapeake with fuel prices as high as they are, but major brands in the Chesapeake, Virginia area have better detergents and additives and deliver consistent quality.

What about a good fuel filter? The fuel filter is a key component of the fuel system. Its job is to filter out the dirt and rust that collect in the fuel tank. If it’s clogged up, the dirt will bypass the filter and head upstream to the fuel injectors.

It’s important to replace the fuel filter when your automobile manufacturer recommends it. That’s part of a comprehensive fuel system cleaning.

There are different kinds of fuel injection systems. Port fuel injection systems, the kind most gasoline engines have, operate at 60 pounds per square inch. The injectors for the new gas direct injection engines we’re starting to see require 10 to 30 times as much pressure. And some diesel engines for passenger vehicles have injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch. There’s no room for dirt and gum in a precision part like that.

There are a lot of good products available in Chesapeake, Virginia that can clean fuel injectors. They’re best used to prevent fouling in the fuel injectors. Many can’t clean a seriously gummed up injector – that requires a professional deep cleaning, like those we offer at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake. But putting the cleaner in the fuel tank after you’ve had West Service Center, Inc. take a look at your fuel system will help keep it clean. Be sure to read the label for directions.

Give us a call if you think your van may be ready for a fuel injector cleaning.

Manager: Robert West
West Service Center, Inc.
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323
757-487-4420

Fuel Injector Cleaning At West Service Center, Inc.

In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your van engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much fuel to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute in every single fuel-injected car driving down Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Suffolk freeways.

Fuel Injector Cleaning In  Portsmouth, Norfolk, and SuffolkMost fuel injectors for gas engines are known in the Chesapeake automotive community as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. The fuel pump provides pressure needed to squirt the right amount of fuel into the engine.

A few manufacturers have recently introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines. They are now available at some Chesapeake dealerships. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure – many times the pressure of port injection systems.

Although more complicated, direct injection technology promises greater power with improved gas mileage for gas-poor Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Suffolk drivers. Virginia motorists can expect to see more of it in the future.

High temperatures
under your van hood and variations in Chesapeake gas quality cause fuel injectors to be fouled with wax, dirt, water, additives and carbon. Injectors can become partially clogged, preventing them from delivering the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure.

When injectors are dirty, the fuel doesn’t burn as efficiently resulting in poor fuel economy and loss of power. So it’s important for Chesapeake drivers keep their fuel injectors clean.

West Service Center, Inc. service center can perform a fuel system service for you in which the fuel injectors are cleaned so that they operate properly and deliver the right amount of fuel at the right time.

Proper maintenance of your van fuel system means that you will spend less on gas, enjoy strong performance and prevent costly Chesapeake repair bills down the road.